That's a great article with lots of tips but personally, I can't plan a month ahead. I plan by the week and shop accordingly on the previous weekend taking into account what is in the pantry and freezer.
I rely on my crock pot for several meals during the week. I also have several recipes that are easy and fast to prepare, as fast a preparing a box of mac and cheese or driving 20 minutes round trip to a fast food drive through. I work full days 3 days a week so cannot come home everynight and ask myself "what should I make?"
This week, we have such a week. Tonight is a "free" night with no plans. But Tues, Wed, Thurs and Friday, one of us has something in the evening that will make meal time hectic. Tonight, I will prepare the crock pot for Tuesday's french dips. The kids and I can eat after we are home and DH can eat after his meeting. Tues night, I'll get out the meat to thaw for Wed and get a salad ready and wash and cut up veggies.
Wednesday, I have a 6:00 class so I will have sloppy joes ready for my kiddos and DH to eat and I can eat after class. Sloppy Joes are one of my fast and easy meals. Served with a salad, a fruit or veggie (like carrot and celery sticks), it is a healthful meal, too.
Thursday, DH is gone from 4 to 7. I am home in the afternoon from 2 to 3:30 until I have to pick up kiddos from school. I plan on getting a chicken and spinach casserole ready that afternoon so after I pick up the kiddos from school, I can pop it into the oven and we can work on chores or play while it is getting ready. DH can eat after his meeting. Plus, there will be leftovers for lunches or I can freeze the extra for another time.
Friday night is Fun Night at our school and it is supposed to be a cool, fall day. Thursday night I will get things together for soup in the crock pot and it will be ready for Friday night for an early and fast meal before we head to the school. My plan is ham and bean soup but I have ingredients for beef veggie, too.
I plan my meals out by the week and I am purposeful in spending 30 minutes at night preparing for the next day. Either getting meat out of the freezer to thaw in the fridge and getting a salad put together or putting together my crock pot so it is ready to go the next morning.
I looked in my freezer and pantry and for this week's meals, I needed buns, lettuce, celery, spinach and some ricotta cheese. Everything else I had on hand.